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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday urged Iran to come to an agreement on its nuclear program in the coming days. For its part, Tehran, which believes that an agreement is closer “than ever”, is calling for a “political declaration” from the American Congress as a guarantee.
Iran has only a few “days” left to rally to an agreement on its nuclear program or avoid a “serious crisis” of proliferation, Paris warned on Wednesday February 16, before the Iranian negotiator assures that the parties were ” closer than ever to an agreement”.
“After weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; however, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” Iranian negotiator Ali Baghéri tweeted in English in the evening. “Our negotiating partners must be realistic, avoid intransigence and take into account the lessons of the past four years. It is time for them to take serious decisions”, he also added.
Earlier, Tehran said it wanted, as a guarantee, a “political declaration” from the US Congress in which the United States pledged to return to the nuclear agreement and to implement it.
“As a matter of principle, public opinion in Iran cannot accept as a guarantee the proposals of a head of state, let alone that of the United States because of the withdrawal of the Americans” in 2018, said the Iranian minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, according to a copy of his Wednesday interview with the Financial Times posted on the Foreign Ministry website.
The head of Iranian diplomacy revealed that he had asked the Iranian negotiators to propose to the Western parties that “at least their parliaments or their presidents, including the American Congress, be authorized to proclaim in the form of a political declaration their commitment to the ‘ agreement and to return to the implementation” of the agreement.
The head of French diplomacy, for his part, showed that the ball was in the Iranian court: “The more we advance, the more Iran accelerates its nuclear procedures, the less interest there is for the parties to join the JCPOA ( 2015 agreement), so we’ve reached the tipping point right now”.
“It’s not a matter of weeks, it’s a matter of days,” insisted Jean-Yves Le Drian before the Senate, while saying that an agreement was “at hand”.
The Vienna talks aim to bring Washington back to the 2015 nuclear deal, including lifting sanctions against Iran, and to ensure Tehran’s full compliance with its commitments.
The other signatories of the agreement, the Europeans (France, Germany, United Kingdom), China and Russia, as well as the United States which left it in 2018, have “found a convergence” to conclude in Vienna , underlined Mr. Le Drian. “We need (now) political decisions on the part of the Iranians”, hammered the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“They have a very clear choice before them: either they trigger a serious crisis in the coming days, we could do without it, or they accept the agreement which respects the interests of all the parties, and particularly the interests of Iran,” he added.